Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Projects, Performance, and Public Speaking

This academic year I have been running a few project groups and a music group. The project groups are subject specific. I run two Science groups and one History/Geography group.

For Science, each family either does a project or an experiment to present to the other families who attend. The format is the same for the History and Geography group. When I initially came up with the idea of a weekly group, I had thought that I would be with the same group of people each week. Instead, my weekly group turned into three monthly groups! I had a lot of people interested in having a Science group and there were too many for the room. To accommodate everyone, I came up with two groups.

Some of the Science projects and experiments we have done have been:

September: Hover Craft, tooth decay (soaking eggs in various liquids to see the effects on the egg shells), Mentos and Cola, dancing raisins (raisins in fizzy water and comparing the reaction to raisins in still water) Water Cycle, making snow (corn flour and oil).

October: Lava lamp (water, oil, food colouring, denture tablets that fizz), energy (potential, stored, kinestic, chemical), water pressure (blue tac, straw, 2 litre bottle of water), bouncy eggs (eggs soaked in vinegar for 24 hours), brain, and magnets, bouncing egg (hard boiled egg soaked in vinegar), eggs absorbing colour, matter (liquid, solid and gas - dancing raisins with fizzy water and raisins), water density (eggs, salt and tap water - 1 egg sinks, one egg floats in the middle and the other egg floats to the top), cornflour and water mixture - solid and liquid - how stirring or friction/engery/heat affect the consistency of the mixture, cleaning pennies with vinegar - the acid in the vinegar lifts the dirt from the copper pennies.

November: Water (liquid, solid, gas - making bubbles, holding molecules), Sound - telephone string and cups, Sound - how size affects sound - musical instruments, making straw reeds, Making a rainbow, Egg being sucked into a bottle, Water Pressure and a diver sinking and floating, Light with a shadow puppet theatre, along with transparent, translucent and opaque demonstration, prism rainbows. Cells - PowerPoint and microscope slides, sound (musical instruments), making plastic milk which makes something similar to playdough.

January: how yeast works (inflating a balloon with yeast), a hydraulic system, optical illusions (on screen and the bird in the cage), force, (balloon on a straw moving along a string), volcano, aerodynamic zippy zoomer, demonstration of how plastic forms a seal around an object that punctures it. Paper planes, tornado experiment and lapbook, antigravity demonstration with water and card, rock cycle (different forms of chocolate and marshmallows to show the types of rock and sand).

February: Skeleton, Laws of Force, and chemical reactions.

March: Ice melting with salt, sea salt, sugar and nothing. Blubber (lard/margarine in a plastic bag "glove" and ice water, density (demonstrated with different amounts of paper in plastic boxes and using skittles and water to make a rainbow layer, how fish breathe, travellin seeds, and carbon.

For History and Geography group we had the following projects:

September - America, India, Kenya, William the Conqueror, The Stone Age

November - Austria, Ancient Greeks, Japan, WW1, Pirates,

January - Scotland, Battle of Culloden, Argentina, Australia, Ancient Greece, Italy.

February - Antarctica - Race for the pole, and Animals and a timeline, Statue of Liberty, Amazon Rainforest.

March - Navigation - longitude and latitude, Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Idonesia, and Mary Cassatt - artist from the Impressionist circle.

The Music Group has been working on music to perform at a local care home/nursing home. We went to visit the residents in August, December, and March. We read some poetry, played some solos, performed a little skit, and of course played and sang some songs for the residents. Our most recent visit was overwhelming because there was hardly any room for the children to perform! It was a really nice visit.

We are still loosely following our Charlotte Mason curriculum and enjoying the use of living books to bring subjects and topics alive. We really enjoy unit studies too. I am rather eclectic in my approach to my education provision.

I have joined a Facebook group for unit studies and each family will contribute a blog post to help contribute to the information on the weekly topic. This will be a very interesting venture and I am looking forward to it. I have been looking at the other posts and I think it will be fun to contribute to this. :-)